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Draper Journal

Explore the great indoors in Draper this winter

Jan 02, 2020 11:09AM ● By Katherine Weinstein

Students at Harmons Cooking School enjoy a pasta class held last November. (Photo courtesy Cindy Toronto/Harmons Bangerter Crossing)

By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]

What can you do when post-holiday cabin fever sets in this month? Although the weather outside may be cold or snowy, it’s good to get out of the house and take a break from looking at our screens. While many folks will hit the slopes and enjoy the great outdoors this winter, there are also adventures to be had indoors. Draper offers many unique indoor diversions and fun experiences for adults and kids alike.

Cook up something magical

Harmons at Bangerter Crossing offers weekly cooking classes throughout the year. Executive Chef Shane Symes, Sous-Chef Brenda White and the Harmons team have put together themed menus to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. 

January’s cooking class menu offerings include everything from desserts like lava cakes and French macaroons to meals made in a wok. Some of the menu offerings pair foods with wine or spirits. Examples include a class on Spanish cheese, wine and charcuterie and street tacos paired with tequila. 

On Jan. 16, 17 and 18, budding cooks can get a taste of foods straight from the pages of the Harry Potter books. Typical British fare such as roast beef, toad-in-the-hole or bangers and mash are on the different menus along with Potterverse favorites like pumpkin pasties, pumpkin juice and butterbeer. The class on the 18th will focus on treats such as those found at Honeydukes, the wizarding world’s sweet shop. 

“Cooking really does bring people together,” said Symes via email. 

White agreed. “In many of our big cooking classes, people come together as strangers and leave as friends,” she said. 

Both feel that the cooking classes are a great way to enjoy and strengthen relationships with family and friends in addition to building cooking skills.

Most of the cooking classes cost $65 per person and are offered on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 6 p.m. Registration is required and there are age restrictions depending on the class. Birthday party cooking classes are available. Visit and select the link to the Bangerter Crossing location for more specific information. The store is located at 125 East 13800 South. 

Test your wits

Draper has not one but two escape room franchises: Alcatraz Escape Games (12674 Pony Express Road #1) and Escapology Escape Rooms (12101 South State Street.) Both feature themed rooms in which groups of players have to work together to decipher clues, crack codes and solve puzzles in order to escape. 

There are a variety of themed rooms to choose from at both venues. At Escapology, guests may find themselves trapped on a WWII submarine or challenged to find the antidote to a killer virus in a scientist’s lab. In another game, players must solve a murder mystery in a Scottish castle. 

Alcatraz Escape Games increases the intensity with more horror-themed rooms. In one game, players must solve a series of clues to avoid falling prey to zombies. Players may choose to be trapped in a castle by an evil wizard or escape from a prison cell on death row. 

Both escape franchises provide an out-of-the-ordinary experience for birthday parties, team-building retreats or just a fun night out with friends. Each game experience takes one hour and the cost per person at both venues is $28. Visit or for more information.

Fire up your creativity

The paint-your-own ceramics studio, Color Me Mine (217 East 12300 South, J3A), has been a local destination for folks looking to channel their artistic sides since 2007. Customers can choose from hundreds of ceramic pieces to paint. Different styles of plates and mugs are available as are a wide variety of figurines ranging from animals to fantasy figures to holiday décor items. 

There are many different glazes in a rainbow of colors and textures to choose from as well. Staff members can show customers different techniques to create the look they want. Once a ceramic piece has been painted, the staff will fire it in a kiln and have it ready for pick-up in approximately one week. Each piece is as unique as the person who painted it. 

Color Me Mine is a California-based franchise. Linda O’Neill owns the Draper store as well as one in Salt Lake City. She said the Draper location has a private party room that can accommodate up to 24 people. “We have all kinds of parties here — birthday parties, team-building events and family parties,” O’Neill said. 

Throughout the month there are discount days and special themed events such as Kids Night Out and adult paint nights where guests are invited to bring their own snacks and beverages of their choice. For a listing of special events during the month of January, visit  

O’Neill views making art together as a great way for families to connect and enjoy themselves. “It’s about togetherness,” she said. “It’s about families having fun.”

Color Me Mine is located in the Draper Peaks shopping center.

Hang out with feathered friends who love the cold

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (12033 Lone Peak Parkway) celebrates penguins this month. During Penguin Awareness Week, January 20–26, guests can watch a daily penguin feed at 3 p.m., take fun photos at a selfie station and enter for a chance to win prizes such as a Penguin Encounter.  

Twenty-one Gentoo penguins, the fastest-swimming penguin species, make their home at the aquarium. At the Mountain America Credit Union Penguin Research Station, guests can watch the birds swim, dive and waddle with views above and below the water. 

In the wild, Gentoo penguins make their home in the sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Their conservation status is near-threatened and populations are decreasing on some islands possibly due to pollution. During Penguin Awareness Week, guests can learn fun facts about these penguins in addition to how to be better stewards of the planet. 

Penguin Awareness Week activities are included in the price of regular admission to Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. For more information visit

Go on an ‘ARTventure’

“Painting and drawing is my passion,” Jill Kesler said. “This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.” 

Her love for making art inspired her to found Create Bliss Art School (3623 Farm Hollow Lane) in 2016. Kesler offers a wide variety of classes in all kinds of art media for kids, teens and adults alike. Students can learn the basics of acrylic painting, watercolor, drawing, sketching in charcoal, clay sculpting, papier-mâché and beaded jewelry-making. 

At Create Bliss Art School, the emphasis is on the joy and learning to be found in the experience of making art rather than having a “perfect” finished product. 

“All of the elements of art and principles of design are offered in each class,” Kesler said. She holds a BFA from the University of Utah as well as a master’s of education degree and worked as an elementary school teacher in California. 

Students at Create Bliss Art School display their paintings. (Photo courtesy Jill Kesler/Create Bliss Art School)


The classes at Create Bliss Art School are two-hour sessions that meet once a week for eight weeks. Create Bliss also offers art camps for kids where young artists can create art projects to celebrate a holiday or enjoy a fun activity over a school break. “Flash classes,” one-session classes where you might create anything from a painting to a pretty bracelet or even slime, are scheduled throughout the year.

Create Bliss Art School also offers corporate team-building art parties as well as parties for occasions such as birthdays or date nights. Girls night out parties where friends can gather to paint or make jewelry are popular. 

The next eight-week winter session will begin this month. For more information and a schedule of classes, visit